Showing posts with label perspective. Show all posts
Showing posts with label perspective. Show all posts

A State of Mind

There is no way to describe all the things that may pass through a caregiver's mind in a given day. There are many thoughts about all the tasks that must be completed in the day, dealing with various health care personnel, as well as thoughts about the future. And there are the same daily chores of dealing with finances, work and family that non-caregivers must deal with too. If we are not careful our minds can get away from us. For many of us that may mean a lot of fear, dread or even depression. Thankfully, there is a way to defeat the types of thoughts that try to drag us down emotions first.

There is an interesting passage in Philippians 4 that has helped me keep myself in the right state of mind. Honestly, some days are easier than others because we live in a situation that doesn't have a "hold" button. There is no pausing in caregiving; some days it is literally putting one foot in front of the other to get through the day. Our minds can work against us - or we can make them help us out. Quite honestly some days it is easier to keep a positive state of mind than other days. But Philippians 4:8 instructs us to keep our minds on things that are right, pure,lovely, and good. There is always  a positive way to look at things - but it may be difficult to find it!

The interesting thing about Paul's instructions to keep our minds on good things is that it follows a key way to be able to accomplish it. Verse 6 says to let our requests be made known to God with thanksgiving. When we look about us and find things to be thankful for it will be easier to keep our minds on good and pleasant things.

Today look around you. Even though we are not in an ideal situation with pain all around and in every dimension, there are good things happening too. Let's take some time to thank God for the good things He is doing in our lives even in the midst of the storm. It may take a conscious effort to keep our minds on Him - but the peace that will guard our hearts will be worth it. Be thankful.

Strength to Serve

This little walk through 1 Peter has helped me sort through many of my thoughts. But this one verse helps me bring my perspective back to where it should be. Caregiving is strenuous on body, soul and spirit. Many days you have to just suck it up and give it all you have - even though you feel there is nothing left! One way to look at caregiving is to consider yourself a servant.

We spend our days (and nights!) taking care of our loved ones. Depending on the nature of the situation we must perform various tasks of different levels of difficulty. Some just need assistance with skills associated with daily living, others maybe just need help with mobility, and still others need total care. Whatever our function is in the lives of our loved one - we can consider ourselves their servant for Christ's sake. He said there was no greater love displayed than when we lay down our lives for another. And we have done that.

1 Peter 4:11b says this: whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ....I do not know about you but depending on the challenges of the day - I do not always have the strength to carry myself through. Actually - most days I do not have the strength to carry myself through! It takes His strength to walk me through each day of caregiving. And this is true even on the "good" days.

 It is never easy to see someone else suffer in any capacity. It is also not easy to have to help someone who used to be very independent and now needs help with daily living. We must learn to walk in His strength and not our own. His strength will carry us, protect us, and help see us through one more day! Today as you serve your loved one, His child, think about relying on His strength more than on your own; you know you do not have it in yourself!

It's Still A Waiting Game

This morning my insides are singing. It's a scripture song and I had some friends that had great harmony and boy could they sing it! It was beautiful - and I can remember just like they used to sing it! It's found in Psalm 27:14 and it says:

 wait on the lord and be of good courage
and He will strengthen your heart
Sometimes the waiting seems like the hard part. I'm a mom and I want to fix things; get them back up and going. But in caregiving situations it does not always work like that which can cause great anxiety for us fixers! I have to take myself back to this scripture and remind myself that the only way I can find the strength for today is to wait on Him.

 Waiting sounds so easy - but in actuality it is so difficult. I want life to return to some sort of what I used to call normal and it just isn't going to happen. Even if there was a miracle and God touched my son today and made him whole... there's still no way life could be like it was. I have changed, relationships have changed and how I handle many things have changed so it would not be the same.
Today as we learn how to wait on Him for the strength to carry on, remember that we are constantly changing. We are learning what life is really about from a whole new perspective in Him. Take some time to wait on His strength to carry you today...

A Valley View

As a caregiver, do you ever feel like you sort of live in a valley? You know, it's a low spot, sometimes really pretty but it's down in the bottom. The trouble with a valley is that no matter which direction you go to try to get out - it's going to be an uphill battle!

 But if we can view the valley from a different perspective, maybe its beauty will increase! For one thing, crops are not usually grown on mountain tops. Well think about it. When's the last time you saw anyone climb a mountain to reap a harvest? The view from up there is beautiful, but all you can do is look at all the other places there are to go! You cannot really do much on the mountain.

 Another thing to consider about the valley is the water supply. The water flows down from the mountain to provide clear, clean water in the valley. If I'm not mistaken it only takes about 50 feet of traveling through natural rocks to cleanse the water and make it pure and natural again.So the water on the top of the mountain can be full of acid rain, but what's in the valley is crystal clear and pure enough to drink.

 With these more positive outlooks on the valley, enjoy the view today! Reap your harvest and drink from His cool water. It's the valley that helps to shape (and sometimes expose) our character! Let Him have His perfect work in you today, whether you are on the mountain top, or in the valley. And remember...

 He is the lily of the valley (SofS 2:1)
He sends springs in the valley (psalm 104:10)

Perspective: Bondage or Challenge?

Sometimes we can get so caught up in the feelings of entrapment. There is not always the liberties of a "normal life" for caregivers. Even if we can come and go at will it can be so much work to accomplish a simple outside task.

I am still so amazed with the book and character of Daniel in scriptures. He was actually a prisoner. His body had been disfigured and tormented. Yet we never hear any complaints coming from the book of Daniel. It's amazing how he made that choice to not defile his mutilated body. His, as well as the three Hebrew children's, tenacity in serving God in spite of their circumstances is inspiring.

In looking at the turmoil in their situations I wondered about how they worked through to find the freedom to serve God even in the midst of their obvious bondages. Did they see their circumstances as such, or did they decide that it was more of a challenge to figure out how to serve God with their whole heart even in the midst of adversity?

What if we changed our perspective on our own personal situations? What if we looked at the apparent bondages and saw them more as challenges today? Perhaps this minor switch may help make today easier to walk through. So for today, I will look at my present situation, not as a hindrance to serving God; but more like a life has issued a challenge. My questions for myself then change from How will I make it through today?  to something more like What can I do to serve Him more effectively from here? or even Can I give Him my all today - even in this prison? Can I praise Him in the midst of the fire?  Not sure yet, but I'm thinking it will change the struggle to look at it as a hurdle rather than an obstacle! Let me know how (and if) changing your perspective works for you today!

Emotionally Stranded

  I was up late last night - and it wasn't to study my Bible. Lol. I was watching a dumb show. But each episode ended with things up in ...